And the Nigerian Idol winner is… Read our Exclusive Interview with Mercy

by Hauwa Gambo

She was just announced as winner of the second season of Nigerian Idol – and we have an exclusive interview with her below!

How did your journey into Nigerian Idol begin?
I started by going for the auditions in Port Harcourt where I was called back. Then I made it to top 100 and then top 30. I was actually the last contestant to contest in the Top 30 stage. I sang Brandy’s ‘I wanna be down’ the next thing I knew, I was in the top 12.

What is different performance-wise about the Mercy that auditioned for Nigerian Idol and the Nigerian Idol Mercy?
I would say that in Nigerian Idol, I learnt first and foremost ‘creativity’ in performance. It is not just enough that you have a good voice, you have to be an amazing performer too. I’ve learnt how to think outside the box. Be confident, strong and own my stage. I havI de learnt to go the extra mile in everything I do. I didn’t believe that I could do Fela, but I tried to think outside of imitating Fela exactly and into mixing everything up into a strong package. I am very happy people liked it.

What do you think has made you unique and stand out in the competition?
I would say it is my ability to remain myself, to remain ‘Mercy’ and not try to be someone else. I have also tried my best to learn, learn and learn all I could from my music director and my co contestants. It is also simply hardwork. My motto is ‘Pay now, play later’. I like to give every song my very best, try to do better than I did the last time. I try to be more creative at what I am doing in a way that is unique.
It is also my vocal dexterity and the whole package that is Mercy. (She laughs)

Why do you think people voted for you overwhelmingly?
Sincerely, I don’t know what people like about me individually because Joe Blue is a wonderful person and performer. Maybe it is my style or myvoice or my hair. I think it is individual. I don’t know what exactly, but I am thankful for it.

What would you do with your prize?
First I would go into developing myself asides from the packages that come with the prize. I want to be a great package that can stand anywhere in the world like Omawumi, Jennifer Hudson, Alici Keys, Asa. I want to make my mark so I will go into preparing myself for the role. I also enjoy talking to young people like myself

What do you want to do for young people exactly?
My position as Nigerian Idol has some influence and I would want to use it to inspiire them to be better. To tell them not to let go of their dreams but to pursue it to the end. To work now and play later.

Do you have a boyfriend?
Ah.. I don’t know how to answer that question. Laughs. I don’t know

What is your fAvourite food?
Gari and draw soup with a lot of meat!

What has changed about you charcater wise?
Nothing! I am still Mercy. I will just work harder at being a better person.

What would you change about your experience in Nigerian Idol?
I wish my father was alive to see this. He encouraged me in music from age 14 when I joined the children’s choir.

Any last words?
I am grateful to God for this blessing upon my life. My mother, family and people of Port Harcourt who have been supporting me everyyday of the show
A big thank you to everyone that has made this possible.OMG, Etisalat, Pepsi, Sony, KFC. Everyone. I am grateful!

What do you have to say about your co contestants
They are wonderful people and I enjoyed my time with them. For Joe Blue, he deserved to win too. He is one of the best performers, I have ever seen. From his voice to his creativity, he is a wonderful person.

What should we expect from you?
Good music, creativity, international performances. One day a Grammy award, because it os possible.

What are your immediate plans?
To record my singles, music videos and to begin to perform on different stages. I will not go anywhere, people will continue to see me until I become a household name.

Of all the past contestants, who would you like to have a duet with?
Definitely A.Y.O. He has a beautiful professional voice.

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